Note: This is the third in a series of articles on Discipline Methods introduced in Discipline and Parenting Style.  If you missed the first two, I recommend that you read them first- Discipline Methods: Communication and Role Modeling and Discipline Methods: Merits and Demerits. This series on discipline is published every Friday so please check back regularly or subscribe via email or follow us at Twitter or Facebook (buttons are at the bottom right corner as well).
This segment of the Discipline Method series is beneficial to both parent and child. Time-out is for a child who is having a difficult time controlling his emotions and behaviors. It is not a punishment but a special time and opportunity to calm oneself, think and regain self control. There are many ways to effectively implement time-outs:

Time-Out or Think-About-It Chair: For toddlers and preschoolers, requiring them to sit in a time-out chair when they disobey instruction, hurt someone, too loud and argumentative, annoy a visitor or for any misbehavior, effectively calms them down and makes them realize that the behavior is unpleasant. If you don’t want to use the term time-out, you can just ask the child to think about what happened and give him time to be alone and reflect. Be sure to discuss the issue with your child when the time is up. You can start implementing time-out time at 1 minute per age. Other children would require longer than this so make the necessary adjustment.

Room Time-Out: The principle is the same as above but this time, the child is required to stay in his or her room. Giving a person time to be alone and chance to reflect in the privacy of his room, calms the emotions down. This is then the time he can come out of the room. The required isolation will also make him realize that the behavior was undesirable and something should be done to correct it. Again, discuss the issue after the time-out. This is applicable to all ages if the child is not violent enough to hurt himself when left alone.

Situation Time-Out: Taking time away from a bad situation calms the child and prevents worse misbehavior. When a child gets mad because a sibling or a playmate broke his toy or crumpled his artwork and would not listen to words, then it is better to pull him out of the situation to prevent him from getting back at and hurting the offender. You can take him for a walk or make him listen to good music to bring his composure back. Give him another activity to work on or read a book with him. Explain the importance of emotion control despite being offended when he is ready to listen.

Peace Corner: Designate a corner in your house where the child can associate peace and tranquility. Peace corners are preferably decorated with plants and flowing water. Put the child in that corner when he is angry to help him re-center himself. Fighting siblings can also reconcile in this corner. Be sure to discuss the issues when emotions are relaxed. Having a peace corner is also beneficial to adults.

Reverse time-out is for parents who feel their emotions are getting out of control. If you are too angry, it is better to ask for a few minutes alone to calm yourself down. Hide in your bedroom or bathroom, freshen up and take a few breathing exercises. Come out when you have a better mood to engage in conversations and ready to deal with your child’s misbehavior rationally. Never deal with a child’s misbehavior when you are in a fighting mode. You might inflict unnecessary pain, physical or emotional, to your child that you will regret later. Reverse time-out is also effective in ignoring attention-seeking behaviors of your child. When the child notices that he is not getting any attention because his mother is currently indisposed, he’ll eventually calm down.

NEXT: Discipline Methods: Prevention and Tolerance

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  1. Veronica Lee March 5, 2010 at 2:02 AM  

    Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.

  2. Mama Sez March 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

    Thanks for the visit and the comment Veronica. I'm pleased to meet you :)

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

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